Hey there, future eye docs, guess what I just did! I invested in my future as a doctor, helped ensure a future for my profession, and guaranteed a fun break in my summer all at once! How did I do it, you ask? I registered for AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting, and you should too!
Are you just coming out from under a rock (midterms, practicals, boards studying, etc.) and don’t know what I’m talking about? No problem! AOA+ is a fantastic program that jump starts Optometry’s Meeting, and it’s built especially for you as an optometry student or young optometrist. Wednesday, June 21st will be the first ever meeting that will ensue every three years following. It encourages us to get involved in our profession’s political future, build relationships, and start our careers on strong financial ground!
AOA Is Investing In You!
Optometry’s Meeting is already shaping up to be an incredible event. Here are some highlights of this year’s meeting:
- Dara Torres, a twelve-time Olympic medalist, will be the keynote speaker (Wednesday, 5:00pm-7:30pm).
- The ever-amazing Essilor Student Bowl is a great time to show off school spirit (Thursday, 7:30pm-11:00pm).
- Top-notch education opportunities will be going on all weekend.
- Are you interested in a pursuing a residency? Chat with residency directors about individual programs and application procedures at the Optometric Residency Forum (Friday, 1:30pm-3:30pm).
- To cap it all off, Andy Grammer will take the stage Saturday night to bring everything to a toe-tapping close!
AOA+ adds to this already amazing experience with:
- Rally on the Hill (Wednesday) will kick off the meeting with a huge gathering on Capitol Hill, where we will advocate for our profession and also take the biggest optometry student selfie, ever.
- The keynote speaker (Wednesday) is Alexa Von Tobel, a young entrepreneur, CEO, best-selling author, and TED talk speaker who will be giving financial advice for managing student debt (intimidating) and practice decisions.
- New Doctor Panel (Wednesday)
- Leadership Link (Thursday) – AOA+ will connect you to a mentor that reflects your future plans.
- Hill Meetings (All week) where you will have the opportunity to visit your legislators with your colleagues and optometrists to advocate for the policies that will have an impact on you and your patients.
Best of all, all students are eligible for $750 travel grants, including students graduating in 2017! The AOA wants to make sure that no matter your situation, you can get out to represent your profession! To receive the travel grant, you must register for AOA+ and Optometry’s Meeting by March 31s and attend all AOA+ events as well as the Optometry’s Meeting General Session. Travel grants will be distributed onsite of Optometry’s Meeting during Leadership Link.
You Are Investing In Optometry As A Whole!
One of the massive advantages of the field of optometry is being a part of a family that supports each other. As a very young member of that family, I often wonder how I can contribute, since financial contributions aren’t easy to make at this point in my journey. In AOA+, I see an outstretched hand that wants to help me take part in the conversation that determines my future. If you’re like me and want an outlet to support your profession, network, and have a ton of fun as well, this is where you need to be in June!
Sounds Great! So How Do I Join?
The deadline for the travel grant is approaching quickly (March 31st!) so here’s how to register:
- Start here! The AOA+ site can give you a little bit more detailed description of all the awesome events planned. Registration is easy, and it’s free! Just click the big red “Save Your Spot” button on the right. Fill out the form, and voila! You’re registered!
- Register for Optometry’s Meeting!Registration is just as easy. Just click the big blue “Register” button and fill out the form. This form is a little more involved, and requires your AOA number if you are a member. Can’t find it? You got it in an email from the AOA in the beginning of the school year. No shame, I had to search, too.
- Wait impatiently for three long months.
- Have a blast!
Are you too excited? Do you need more information to help prepare for all the amazing events in store? Here are a few more articles to satisfy your anticipation:
- Join Us for AOA+! Register Soon for Early-Bird Discount and Travel Grant
- Join us at AOA+ on June 21, 2017 in Washington D.C.
- Recap: Optometry’s Meeting 2016 in Boston– Get a retrospective of how Optometry’s Meeting went last year!